Roslyn Elementary School students participate in International Walk to School Day

ABINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Elementary school students throughout the neighborhoods of Roslyn, Montgomery County walked to school together in recognition of International Walk to School Day.

The event was held in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Montgomery County Planning Commission as part of a Safe Routes to School program, a national initiative to advance safe walking to school and improve the well-being of school communities.

For these students at Roslyn Elementary, it's the perfect day to walk to school.

"I thought it was really fun because when I was walking with my mom, I saw there was a group of all my friends," said student Emily Hutchins.

On this Inernational Walk to School Day, which is designed to encourage students to walk or bike to school, students got a lesson in safety.

"Our goal is to make this an established routine, so it really starts with us trying to build the network and then from there, the students kind of take it on with the help of their families," said Principal Dr. Kevin Osborne.

And the event was not just for the kids, parents and school leaders were also encouraged to walk and discuss the importance of safe and active travel.

"We walk to school all the time because we live really close. It is one of the benefits of living in this neighborhood and we have a great community and we have a very low carbon foot print because we don't have to drive as much," said parent Liz Hutchins.

"The national initiative is really good. It makes sure that everybody is safe. The kids are using the buddy system," said parent T. Sean.

Along the way, the Montgomery County Planning Commission and other organizers conducted what they called a walk audit.

"To identify if there are any sidewalks that might be broken or just unsafe, areas around the school that could hinder student ability to walk and bike safely," said Elizabeth Raum.

According to its website, "The first National Walk to School Day - called Walk Our Children to School Day - was held in 1997. Since then, it's come a long way. In May 2012, the first-ever National Bike to School Day was celebrated across the USA. Join families, schools and communities as they walk and bicycle to school for these events each year."

"Getting more people walking to school, the importance of exercise - it helps with some of the mental health and it helps with all these things to keep these kids up and an active," said parent Shannon Stepp.

Organizers say this was the first year they participated in International Walk to School Day and it was such a success, they plan to do it again next year.

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